Tag Archives: Health

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park & My Thoughts on Facing Darkness


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I was saddened to hear of the passing of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on July 20, 2017 at the age of 41.  He was also the lead singer for Dead By Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.  His voice had a great range for melodic top 40 tracks to the hard screaming sounds of rock and roll that sometimes blended with rap by Mike Shinoda, the other frontman of Linkin Park.

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Chester was authentic and open about his life, the struggles of his childhood when his parents became divorced, being sexually abused by an individual older than him, and getting bullied in school.  He let out his frustration and suffering in his art and music.  Much of his struggle resonates in the lyrics of the songs he helped write and through the sound of his voice.  However, Chester also turned to drugs and alcohol to numb his pain.  Even with his rise into a rockstar with amazing bands, he faced depression until he took his life.

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As a politician in Hawaii, I worked on the issues of bullying, sex abuse, drugs, and mental health.  I continued with some of this work while a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu.  I left public service after being charged by the police for driving under the influence when I was stopped at a roadblock.  Half the time I served in public service, I felt like I was dealing with power trips of politicians and judges, many with temper tantrums who were unable to put the issues above themselves.  Now, I direct my efforts in helping the community through start-up business ventures, business law, and nonprofit organizations.  If I succeed in building the businesses that I’m passionate about, I want to dedicate my money on causes that I’ve failed to achieve as a politician and government attorney such as building a peace curriculum in our schools to teach our children positive daily practices to reduce bullying, sex assault, verbal abuse and physical violence; and helping orphans of war receive water, food, medicine, clothes, toys, and an education.

The death of Chester by suicide hit me emotionally.  I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since their beginning.  I’m listening to Linkin Park songs as I write this post.  I know the power of the darkness can haunt us, especially when we’re alone.  At night and early morning is when they attack me. When they win, nothing matters – nothing.  I know this.  I live because I’ve created so many goals to work on.  I work hard – so hard that it pushes away my pain – that is until I’m alone, then I have to start all over again.  But I can’t just live by working.  I want to love and be loved.  I want to have fun.  For these reasons, I created a system of practices I created that helps me to keep moving forward through gratitude, peace, and happiness.  If you are facing anxiety and depression, these are the things I do to counter the darkness:

(1) Sleep – For maximum output, 7+ hours of sleep works for me.
(2) Exercise – Run, lifting weights, and swimming are some of the exercise I do that gives me a high and a feeling of confidence that I can achieve anything.
(3) Healthy Diet – Foods that have Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C helps us against depression and anxiety. L-Theanine in green tea has a calming affect.
(4) Gratitude – I have gratitude for not just the big things, but also the many little things.
(5) Mindfulness – I live in the moment to be aware of the beauty and wonderful things around me. Mindfulness is what energizes our gratitude. The more mindful I am, the higher the level of my gratitude.
(6) Win-Win/Positive Thinking. There are wins in everything we do, even failure and bad incidents.
(7) Goals – I plan and execute my goals by a system that rewards small wins and big wins. It’s the process of the daily practice that gives us a rush of dopamine every time we achieve small wins, and in time, we get that satisfaction from attaining our big wins.
(8) Writing – Blog, journal, social media, fiction, and nonfiction. Writing is so therapeutic, and it feels good to send positive messages to my friends and network.
(9) Positive Relationships – Stay near positive people who will fire you up with good energy, and avoid negative people who drain your energy.
(10) Music – Soothing music is great while working, and when you need a lift, play a lively song and dance.
(11) Read and listen about amazing people – Exposure to people who overcame huge challenges keeps me motivated and thinking extraordinary with a mindset that anything is possible when you consistently work hard, build relationships, and learn.
(12) Go to your happy places – My happy places are beaches in Hawaii for relaxation and coffee shops for work.
(13) Ocean Therapy and Nature – For me, swimming in the ocean does wonders by heightening all my senses and revitalizing my vision for my life.
(14) Sunlight – Vitamin D3 from the sun helps us against anxiety and depression.
(15) Sensory Therapy – I enjoy lemon scented cologne, vanilla and lavender scented candles, hot and cold showers, and massages.
(16) Learn – Right now, I enjoy learning about subjects such as self-development, health, writing, Japanese language and culture, aviation, fuel, Iraq war, and orphans of war.
(17) Meditation – This practice calms my mind, body, and soul.
(18) Travel – Experiences at other locations creates wonderful memories and recharges our mind, body, and soul.
(19) Read Fiction – Experience other lifestyles and locations, feel the beauty of love, and do extraordinary things.
(20) Inspirational Movies and Television Shows

The following song, “Shadow of the Day” by Linkin Park expresses how I feel about the loss of Chester Bennington and the darkness that haunts us all.

 

Here is “Heavy” by Linkin Park, another song that moves me emotionally.

 

“Numb” by Linkin Park is a song that resonates with the frustration we feel after working so hard to be who we are, only to be attacked by others who want something, and punished harder by others because of who we’ve become, despite us still being human.

 

“Sorry For Now” by Linkin Park

 

“Nobody Can Save Me” by Linkin Park.  On a positive note, near the ending of the song, the lyrics goes:

I wanna fall wide awake now
So tell me it’s alright
Tell me I’m forgiven, tonight
And only I can save me now
I’m holding up a light
Chasing up the darkness inside
And I don’t wanna let you down
But only I can save me!

Been searching somewhere out there
For what’s been missing right here

 

I want to end this entry with a positive and motivational song by Linkin Park, “Battle Symphony.” Chester will live on through his music, loved ones, and fans. My heart goes out to him and his loved ones.

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#depression #anxiety #darkness #linkinpark #chesterbennington #peace #innerpeace #compassion #empathy #gratitude #mindfulness #happiness #sleep #exercise #health #diet #winwin #positivethinking #goals #writing #happyplaces #oceantherapy #nature #sensorytherapy #learn #meditation #travel #movies

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Benefits of Brown Rice


About 1.5 years ago, I switched to eating brown rice when I cook at home instead of white rice because of its many benefits. I still enjoy white rice every so often as a treat, especially when I eat at restaurants. 

#brownrice #rice #healthyfood #healthyfoods #healthy #health #food #foods #nutritious #nutritiousfood #nutrition #mind #body #soul 

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Exercise and Ocean Therapy Reduces Stress and Anxiety


Here’s a picture from my short 2.77 mile run along the coast of Ko’olina on 5/15/2017. After my run, I swam the length of Lagoon 4 six times. Exercise and being in and near the ocean is helpful in alleviating stress and anxiety. I’m grateful to live in Hawaii. 

#koolina #koolinabeach #disneyaulani #hawaii #oahu #oahuhawaii #running #run #swim #swimming #exercise #health #oceantherapy #therapy #stress #stressrelief #anxiety #anxietyrelief #innerpeace #peace #mind #body #soul #gratitude #mindfulness 

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Benefits of Oatmeal


Oatmeal is often a part of my breakfast and it is very healthy. I like to eat it with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. It is easy and quick to make, and a great way to boost my day. I usually buy Quaker Oats but other brands will do fine as well. Here are a few benefits of oatmeal. 

#oatmeal #oats #oat #breakfast #healthy #health #benefits #nutrition #nutritious #happiness #food #foods #superfood #superfoods #mind #body #soul #quaker #quakeroats #quakerbreakfast 

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Tim Ferriss on Depression and Thoughts of Suicide.


Linked below is an article on depression and suicide by Tim Ferris, an entrepreneur, investor, author, and podcast host who has studied and practiced self-improvement strategies and techniques that we can all incorporate into our daily lives in our quest for happiness. He is well known for his book “The Four-Hour Workweek” and his latest book “Tools of the Titans” is in the market.

All of us from time to time will face challenges that will make us sad, hurt, disappointed, and even angry. However, Tim Ferris, like my other favorite entrepreneurs/self-improvement coaches James Altucher and Marie Forleo – they encourage us to practice daily habits that make us positive and productive human beings.

In this article, Ferris wrote: 

Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.

Here are some of my coping mechanisms for making it through the day:

1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.

2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh like this) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.

3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.

4) For each item, ask yourself:

– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”

5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.

6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.

7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.

8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

9) Physically MOVE for at least 20 minutes each day. Go for a long walk, lift weights, take a free online yoga class (YouTube), anything. Ideally, get outside. I was once asked by friend for advice on overcoming debilitating stress. The answer I repeated over and over again was: “Remember to EXERCISE daily. That is 80% of the battle.”

10) Follow a diet that prevents wild blood sugar swings. This means avoiding grains and refined carbohydrates most of the time. I follow the slow-carb diet with one cheat day per week and have done so for 10+ years. Paleo also works great. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fat. High protein and low fat can give you low-grade symptoms of rabbit starvation.

11) Schedule at least one group dinner with friends per week. Get it on the calendar no later than 5pm on Monday. Ideal to have at least three people, but two is still great medicine.

12) Take a minute each day to call or email someone to express gratitude of some type. Consider someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time. It can be a one-line text or a 5-second voicemail.

Congratulations! That’s it.

Those are the rules I use, and they help steer the ship in the right direction.

Routines are the only way I can feel “successful” despite my never-ending impulse to procrastinate, hit snooze, nap, and otherwise fritter away my days with bullshit. If I have 10 “important” things to do in a day, I’ll feel overwhelmed, and it’s 100% certain nothing important will get done that day. On the other hand, I can usually handle 1 must-do item and block out my lesser behaviors for 2-3 hours a day.

And when — despite your best efforts — you feel like you’re losing at the game of life, never forget: Even the best of the best feel this way sometimes. When I’m in the pit of despair with new book projects, I recall what iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut said about his process: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.

Tim Ferris’ link to his article is here: https://www.google.com/amp/tim.blog/2015/05/06/how-to-commit-suicide/amp/

“Failure” and “success” are both wins because we made an effort to embark on a journey by working on an opportunity. What makes “failure” and “success” both a win is when we appreciate what we’ve learned, the skills we’ve developed, and the people we’ve built relationships with. So even on our hardest day when we feel worthless, like Ferris wrote, we can list the things that are making us anxious, and choose to work on that one thing that would make us feel accomplished for the day and make all the other things on our list less important or easier to knock off later. Exercise, meditate, write our goals down, listen to music, take a walk, spend times with positive friends, or do an activity that will boost our happy chemicals and make us feel more accomplished. The small wins and accomplishments mean a lot, because when we achieve many of these small wins, we will eventually achieve the huge wins! On our goods days, we could rack up a dozen or more wins a day, but on our toughest day, even if we just make an effort to accomplish one very important task, that is a super huge win – huge! 

Sincerely,

Jon Riki Karamatsu 

 

 

 

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Keep failing until we succeed, and keep succeeding until we fail.


For many of us, dreams and goals make life exciting.  I enjoy coming up with ideas, expanding my skill-sets, and building relationships.  However, sometimes in the midst of our hustle to do well in our lives, we forget the importance of having gratitude for what we have now and accomplished thus far.  We get too fixated on what we want and get frustrated when all our efforts are not taking us there.  We all love success, but with every dream and goal we pursue, there will be challenges and even failure.  Some statistics say 8 out of 10 businesses started will fail.  Many have pursued the path to become a U.S. Senator or President of the United States and have fallen short.  Others have attempted to reach the highest levels in their field of work but have failed to attain that level.  Failure is only failure if we don’t appreciate what we currently have and what we have gained.  Shoot to be number one in the world, but number 50 is still pretty darn good.  We can make peace with our mind knowing that we did our best, and won’t have the pain of wondering “What if I had given my idea a shot?”  Through failure, we gain knowledge in areas we may have not been familiar with; build new relationships; and even come up with more ideas to pursue.  With failure, we change and evolve, often leading us to worlds we’ve never experienced.  When we embrace failure as part of success, we can keep moving higher to a level where we can keep failing until we succeed, and keep succeeding until we fail.

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Haiku #3 – Jon Riki Karamatsu


Close your eyes and cry.

Words come to me in the dark.

Can you feel my heart?

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, May 31, 2016 –

 

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